Though well aware of her cousin Anne Boleyn’s fate only four years earlier, 15-year-old Catherine Howard acquiesces with her ambitious, conniving relatives’ plans and marries King Henry VIII. He calls her “my rose without a thorn,” but she is well aware of the thorny secrets she conceals: no virgin when she and the king married, she later begins a sexual liaison at court, partly in a desperate effort to produce an heir. Soon, Catherine begins a downward spiral toward madness and despair. An author’s note separates historical fact from conjecture in this account of Catherine’s short years as Henry’s “rose.” Libby offers a convincing, sympathetic portrayal of a young woman who relinquishes her hopes of marrying for love and finds herself doomed by her choices and deceptions. Hardly an active heroine, Catherine falls into a trap early on and, in the end, has little left but her dignity. This one’s for historical-fiction fans who will appreciate this character study of Henry’s fifth wife.
I have read other books about Katherine Howard, this is the first from her point of view. Just as her cousin, Anne Boleyn, was a pawn for the Howards so was it for Katherine. I really enjoyed this book, it showed a side of Katherine that I have never seen before. An immature 15 year old girl, suddenly catching the eye of King Henry and becomes his 5th wife. Forced to forget her previous 15 years and become 'the rose without a thorn'.
An emotional book that showed the confused and emotional side of Katherine that was a refreshing change.
I recommend this book.
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